Americans enjoy the offline world, with an overwhelming majority still citing print as the preferred medium for reading books, magazines and newspapers, according to a new survey commissioned by graphic communications non-profit Two Sides.
The report, which surveyed North American consumers on their habits and attitudes regarding print and paper, found that when it comes to books, magazines and newspapers, print clearly wins as the preferred method for reading.
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More than two-thirds of U.S. adults (68 percent) said print is their medium of choice when it comes to reading books. Nearly the same amount (65 percent) think print provides a superior experience when reading magazines, and more than half (53 percent) choose print to read newspapers.
The survey found that nearly half of U.S. and Canadian consumers (49 percent and 46 percent, respectively) believe they spend too much time on their electronic devices, and 71 percent of Americans and 68 percent of Canadians value the idea of “switching off” their digital devices and reading more in print.
More than half of the survey respondents (53 percent) said they’re concerned that an overuse of electronic devices could prove damaging to their health. In the U.S., nearly a third (31 percent) believe they’re currently suffering from “digital overload.”
The study also discovered that the recent push by service providers (utilities, banks, telecoms and insurance companies) to ditch printed correspondence in favor of digital records might’ve left many consumers rankled: 86 percent of U.S. consumers and 82 percent of Canadians believe they should have the right to choose how they receive their communications from these companies.
Anxieties surrounding cyber security could behind these communications preferences. In the U.S., about three-quarters of respondents (74 percent) said they’re concerned that electronic copies of their personal information are at risk for being hacked, stolen, lost or damaged. Nearly the same number (73 percent) admitted they keep hard copies of important documents at home, as they believe this is the safest and most secure way of storing their information.
Research for the Two Sides’ survey was conducted by marketing research firm Toluna, which polled more than 3,100 consumers across the U.S. and Canada in February.